Taking a golf break in Hawaii to see that Tiger Woods really is human
We were finishing up a windy round at the Kings’ Course at Waikoloa (Hawaii) Beach Resort this morning when we made a great decision.
Waiting behind a group on the 17th tee, I suggested to my playing companion, head pro Johnny Eusebio, that we take a break and come back to finish the last two holes. We retreated to the nearby clubhouse, which was packed with a tour group glued to the TV sets, watching the final round of the PGA Championship in the grill.(We had been getting periodic updates throughout our round.)
As it turned out, Tiger Woods and Y.E. Yang were on the 17th green at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Both missed makable putts, which left Woods trailing by one going into the last hole.
Then it was Yang who hit the clutch shot on the 18th. Yang’s hybrid over the tree to within 10 feet was Tigeresque. Yes, these other guys are capable, even if you’ve never heard of them.
So it is possible for Tiger not to win a major after leading going into the final round.
But let’s remember Tiger wasn’t just playing one other guy; there were several who had a shot at beating him on this tough day. Most felt it would be Padraig Harrington again, or maybe even U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover. Not many gave Yang a chance, even though he had obviously been playing well to get into the final group with Tiger.
So Yang, not K.J. Choi, became the first Korean player to win a major, and the first Asian-born player to win a major.
How ironic as I type this from Hawaii, which seems closer to Asia than the U.S. mainland.
We finished the last two holes, by the way. Like Tiger, I went bogey, bogey. No surprise there, but I get another chance at this really nice Tom Weiskopf-Jay Morrish design on Thursday.
I’ll be here for about two weeks reporting on golf on the Big Island and Oahu, and here’s a newsflash: Hawaii is spectacular. If you’ve never been here, make your plans.
This really is paradise.
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